Saturday, February 10, 2018

January 14th was National Pastrami Day. But at TooJay’s it will be Pastrami Day until February 11th.


Please note: Today, Saturday, Feb. 10th and tomorrow are the last days for “Pastrami Day” at TooJay’s. Continue reading to find out why it’s a good idea to head on over to TooJay’s very soon, like tomorrow for a Hot Pastrami Sandwich.

The Hot Pastrami Sand-
wich at TooJay’s!

There’s the Pastrami Burger at TooJay’s as well.
And the Pastrami Benedict, Pastrami Dogs,
and Pastrami Egg Rolls too!
 


To celebrate National Pastrami Day I got an early start at the best place to do just that: Our local City of Lake Worth’s TooJay’s and I used the TooJay’s app on my phone which turned out to be a really good idea. Why? Find out below.

The TooJay’s app is available on either
App Store or Google Play.

Just for downloading the app you get a free small plate or dessert. So I just happened to be thinking about going to TooJay’s for a late lunch but after checking the app on my phone discovered that my offer was about to expire that very day! (Note: You have 60 days from date of sign-up to redeem. shame on me for waiting that long.) So I didn’t need additional prompting and promptly made my way to the TooJay’s in Downtown Lake Worth.

When I got to the restaurant all I had to do was tell my server I would like redeem that offer. I hit the “Redeem” button on my phone and a number pops up. The server writes that number down and when your check comes you’ll see that the amount is deducted from your tab. It really is that easy.

They even have a small plate of
pastrami egg rolls!

Since I was there for a hot pastrami sandwich I opted for the tomato cucumber salad. Oh, and don’t forget, you can order ahead of time through the “To Go” app which is a great convenience feature if you’re short on time.

My Hot Pastrami sandwich at TooJay’s. Delicious!
And guess what? From now through February 11th when you order one of the featured pastrami entrees (see image below) you get a special bonus.

Click on image to enlarge:
How easy is it? Super easy. Just scan your receipt into your app (ask your server if you need help) and you will be entered into TooJay’s® Delicious Deli Giveaways Sweepstakes.

Purchasing any one of the five (5) featured pastrami items is good for two (2) sweepstakes entries. The Grand Prize is one (1) pastrami product per week for 52 weeks which will be awarded on February 15th, 2018. There will be other prizes awarded weekly through the sweepstakes period.

If you’re curious about the pastrami egg rolls, remember, these are on the small plate menu so they are free — deducted from your check — just by downloading the app and redeeming the special offer sent to your phone. Use it every time and when you reach 150 points ($1 spent equals 1 point earned) you will get a $10 reward that you can use towards menu items.

Enjoy! 

We’re so very fortunate to have one of the longest-running TooJay’s establishments located right in our lovely and vibrant Downtown Lake Worth.

The Lake Worth Herald: Your LOCAL newspaper for LOCAL community activities and LOCAL events.

Are you planning your weekend?
Looking for stuff to do?

Not interested in going to Garlic Fest this weekend
at the County’s John Prince Park?


Would you rather do something right here — actually in the City of Lake Worth — for example, have you heard about the new “Comm{UNITY} Exhibition” at HATCH 1121?

What is this exhibit? Where is it? What is HATCH 1121? Find out more below, news in this week’s Herald.

Two great sources to find out what’s going on in this City is your City of Lake Worth and The Lake Worth Herald.
For the City of Lake Worth’s “Special Events” website click on this link.

And you need to check out this week’s
Lake Worth Herald too!

From the front page to the last page the Herald is filled with all kinds of stuff to do this weekend and all next week from the Tree Festival, BINGO, clubs, and activities such as the “Comm{UNITY} Exhibition” at Hatch 1121 opening today:

A special opening reception of the Comm{UNITY} Exhibition, a Lake Worth art show will be held Saturday [TODAY] from 6:00–9:00 p.m. at Hatch 1121, featuring Lake Worth local artists. Presented by Hatch 1121, LULA Lake Worth Arts and the Lake Worth CRA, the exhibition will be shown from February 10–March 17. Hatch 1121 is located at 1121 Lucerne Ave.

To pick up the print edition of the Herald go to the City’s newsstand located at 600 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth right across the street from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. And guess what? The Herald is still just ¢50!


To see this week’s front page click on this link.
The Herald is your LOCAL community newspaper located at 1313 Central Terrace in the City of Lake Worth. To contact the editor call 561-585-9387 or send an email to: Editor@lwherald.com

A re-post by request. A question:

Why isn’t Chris McVoy, PhD, running for mayor of Lake Worth?

“Chris McVoy: Some people like their politicians to dole out ‘straight talk.’ We prefer ones that can speak five languages and have written books on the ‘predevelopment ecohydrology of the Everglades.’ . . . Can’t this dude be the governor?”

Quote from an article titled, “The 19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida” published in the New Times by reporter Dierdra Funcheon, datelined April 22nd, 2016. [Funcheon is no longer with the New Times; to see her latest endeavors click on this link.]

Note that two Lake Worth residents at the time were listed among “The 19 Best Environmentalists” in the article cited above: Then-Commissioner Chris McVoy and Mr. Panagiotis Evangellos Nasios Tsolkas, also known as Mr. Peter Tsolkas.

Drew Martin, a member of the Sierra Club (as was Mr. Tsolkas, a “Sierra Club, Loxahatchee, ExCom member”; see link above), is a well-recognized environmentalist and is running against Mayor Pam Triolo in the March 13th elections. However, Martin did not make the list in the New Times’ article (by the way, Post reporter Christine Stapleton also made “The 19 Best” list).

Word is Drew Martin originally filed to run against Commissioner Andy Amoroso in the District 3 race. After filing his campaign papers Martin left City Hall, guess he stopped and thought about what he was getting himself into, and then fifteen minutes later scrambled back and filed to run against Mayor Pam Triolo instead.

Commissioner Amoroso never did draw an opponent and was re-elected by default. So now Triolo has to run against Martin instead. But the big question is, why is Martin even running against Triolo to begin with? Isn’t there anyone out there more qualified and experienced? Maybe someone like Chris McVoy?

Let’s explore this a bit more.

The environment is a very important issue here in the City of Lake Worth and as far as I can remember in my twenty-eight years living in this City, has always been. The voters in this City can be a very forgiving bunch, for example, when then-District 2 Commissioner Cara Jennings was re-elected in 2008 (first elected in 2006). The public was not in a very forgiving mood in 2010 and Jennings knew that. So she ‘passed the baton’ so to speak to then-citizen Chris McVoy, PhD.

McVoy was elected to the District 2 seat in 2010. He was re-elected in 2012. And in 2013 when, by referendum, elections were moved from November back to March (like most municipalities surrounding the City of Lake Worth), he faced the voters in 2015 and won once again.

But what sunk McVoy was his role in trying to defeat the Neighborhood Road Bond in 2016. Why? Because the voters remembered he did almost exactly the same thing back in 2014 . . . fool me once comes to mind . . . then the Road Bond referendum in 2016 ended up passing by a “whopping” 69%.

So. McVoy lost in March 2017 to now-District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy.

Now follow me here.

Ever since McVoy was elected in 2010 he was always rumored to be running for mayor of Lake Worth. In late 2015 people were openly suggesting that McVoy resign from his seat in District 2, run against Mayor Pam Triolo in 2016, and have a special election for his district commission seat. It all seemed to make sense politically. But McVoy backed off.

Now here we are. Martin is running against Mayor Pam Triolo. Why not McVoy?

Remember, the voters in the City of Lake Worth are a forgiving bunch — and McVoy still has name recognition — he could certainly make the case he learned his lesson that not focusing on issues such as potholes and fixing the streets was a big mistake. Sure, McVoy being called a “gadfly” by the editor of the Post in the endorsement for Mr. Omari Hardy stung but I’m sure McVoy’s been called much worse things in his political career.

But how much does Drew Martin actually know about the City of Lake Worth? And how well will he perform to benefit this City?

Let’s take for example what’s happened several times at the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC), a crucially important and vital organization. Several times Martin used the TCRPC as a stage at public comment to get false and very misleading information “into the record” about this City of Lake Worth.

For example, take the mangroves along the City’s municipal golf course and along Bryant Park in the Intracoastal. Below is public comment made at the TCRPC in 2016 by Drew Martin.

Click on image to enlarge:
These minutes from the TCRPC include completely false and what one would call “moderately
correct
” information.

In the comments made by Drew Martin is a moderately correct statement and a completely false statement. First, correcting the absolutely false statement by Martin: The City of Lake Worth DID NOT remove any mangroves from along golf course shoreline. The mangrove removal was done by the County using a County permit.

Next about the City of Lake Worth stopping a “600-foot planting of mangroves along Bryant Park”. This planting was addressed during the County’s “Living Shoreline” project when it was proposed to plant mangroves along the seawall. Neighborhood groups and others objected because it would obstruct the view of the Intracoastal by those who reside near the park and obstruct the view for those visiting our City as well.

Historic photo of the City of Lake Worth’s
municipal golf course:
Aerial view, 1973. Note “gaps” along shoreline for a view of the Intracoastal waterway.

Now back to the golf course: The mangroves were removed because they were planted in the wrong place by volunteers. Along the golf course “windows” or “gaps” are needed for the public to see the water and enjoy the view. Why have a golf course next to the Intracoastal if you can’t see the water? Defeats the purpose of having a golf course with a “view of the water” does it not?

No one is denying Drew Martin’s commitment to environmentalism and to the environment overall. But along with that commitment is the responsibility to educate the public as well. Every one of our elected representatives has sent the message the environment is very important to the future of this City.

And that’s why I think our Lake Worth City Commission is probably the best one this City has ever had.

Remember. Election Day is March 13th.
And if you’re not sure where to vote on Election Day click on this link to locate your precinct, voting location, and more information.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address was last night at the vibrant Lake Worth Casino Ballroom.


UPDATE: To see the entire 2018 State of the City Address click on this link for the Lake Worth Casino Facebook page and scroll down for the video (note: fast forward to the 18:00 minute mark). Check back later for excerpts from Mayor Pam Triolo’s speech.

Mayor Triolo did a spectacular job!

Although I was unable to attend last night there were several citizen reporters at the Ballroom who relayed many details about what happened. And most notably ALL of the City Commission was on the stage last night unlike in past years. Check back later on for more information.

Also, hopefully, Mayor Triolo will be treated more fairly than she was last year by the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post when she was misquoted and taken completely out of context at last year’s State of the City Address (see newspaper clipping below). 


Meet Mayor Pam Triolo:
Click on this link for the entire City Commission, the mayor and each of the four district City commissioners.

This newspaper clipping from January 2017 had the public asking, “Did the mayor say that?”
Note: There is a very big difference between the word ‘nowhere’ and the words “not where” which is what Mayor Pam Triolo actually said on January 31st, 2017. Click on this link to find out why.

This error in the Post last year should have been either corrected and/or clarified but no correction or clarification was ever published by the editor and sadly, this is nothing new by any means. However, if you think there’s nothing you can do about this you are mistaken. You can do like one City of Lake Worth resident who wrote:

“For months I’ve been meaning to cancel my subscription to the tedious Palm Beach Post.”

and then, exquisitely prose-like. . .

     “I have been propelled at last, from a mild discontent into an unbearable ennui that must be attended to. That this happened on this starry Christmas morning is both sad and surprising.”

Spread the word. Blog post from yesterday about new CRA program to help first-time home buyers.


Already read this blog post? Thank You for visiting once again today and please scroll down.

The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment
Agency (CRA) press release is below.

The program is called the “Individual Development Account (IDA) Program”, a program that matches money 2:1 (‘1’ from the first-time home buyer and ‘2’ from Community Partners*) into a “matched savings account program to assist low-to-moderate income individuals.”

And please take note: It’s that time of year once again. The ‘G word’ is back!
And right on cue, 4–6 weeks prior to every Election Day in the City of Lake Worth, the ‘G word’ has popped up once again. Click on this link to learn more about, “[T]he most loaded, least understood word in urban policy: gentrification.”

Note that the ones once again trying to create public fear and anxiety using the ‘G word’ (aka, “The Wolf at the Door”) were also the same ones who staged protests and encouraged the homeless (e.g., from the County’s John Prince Park) to take over “spaces” like the Cultural Plaza in the City of Lake Worth.

Why would they do that? To increase the crime rate and/or the public perception about crime in this City.

For the facts about the crime rate in the City of Lake Worth and the expected results showing a 11–13% drop in crime for 2017 click on this link to read about, “Did you read an article recently in the Post about crime in the City of Lake Worth?” And unlike what ‘Mr. Snarky’ suggested — the County’s efforts in combination with the City’s efforts, including help from organizations such as Lord’s Place and Adopt-A-Family — have contributed greatly in helping the homeless here in this City.

Anyhow. Without further ado. . .

To learn more about the Individual Development Account (IDA) program contact Emily Theodossakos, the Marketing and Program Manager at the Lake Worth CRA by clicking on this link, call 561-493-2550, or stop by the office located at 1121 Lucerne Ave., the CRA’s new HATCH 1121 building on Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Here is the CRA press release:

LAKE WORTH — The Individual Development Account (IDA) program is a matched savings account program to assist low-to-moderate income individuals to save $2,000 over a 36-month period. The individual’s $2,000 is matched with $4,000 (2:1 match) to be used towards the down payment and closing costs of a first-time home purchase.

*For more information or to register online click on this link for all the home ownership services provided by Community Partners, a “comprehensive family and community development agency.”

Question: How many business reporters at The Palm Beach Post cover Central Palm Beach County and coastal cities?


Answer: Five (5); see list below
with contact information.


If you’re a business owner in the City of Lake Worth when was the last time you ever tried to contact one or even two of these business reporters? Most of you are familiar with Jeff Ostrowski and maybe Jennifer Sorentrue too, but do you know who the others are? Find out below.

Contact a business reporter at the Post and use the “Five Tips” (see below) composed by a marketing and advertising professional who also happens to be in the all-important business of “business news” here in Central Palm Beach County (CPBC).

With five business reporters covering CPBC, the trick is learning how to reach out to the right one! Business reporter Jeff Ostrowski isn’t the only one covering this very important part of the County, for example, if you’ve been paying close attention to the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries here in the City of Lake Worth.

Below is contact information (phone/email) for all
five business reporters
.

And also learn more below about the “5 Tips” from the Post’s business editor and how those incredibly useful five tips — using just one example, ‘Icy treats!’ — can help a business increase sales and develop a loyal customer base here in the City.

For example, below is a quote from the Post in an article titled, “Online shopping hurts Lake Worth retailers over holidays” vis-à-vis the 2016–2017 holiday season and about a retailer that’s also in competition with other local Downtown businesses selling women’s clothing and maybe even in competition with the hugely popular World Thrift on N. Dixie Hwy. as well:

     CarriElle’s Closet, a new upscale designer store that opened on North K street in June [2016], also struggled to find holiday shoppers.
     “We had days where we were super busy and those when it was really quiet,” said Carrie Childs, a store co-owner. “We should have advertised or done more promotion.” [emphasis added]
     Elle Horigan, Childs’ business partner, said most customers came in mostly to style and buy clothes for themselves.
     “We wanted more people buying gifts,” Horigan said. “It was slow.”

How could CarriElle’s Closet have attracted more customers? By using the Five Tips from the Post business editor!

  • Know whom you want to reach out to, the editor writes, “. . . the trick is reaching to the right journalist.” For example, sending information to a beat reporter may not be the best option. Have you considered a business reporter? An entertainment reporter?
  • Who’s your audience? “So, tell us how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many friends/fans do you have on Facebook?”
  • Local, local, local, “. . . there must be a direct and definite Palm Beach County connection.”
  • Newsmakers, “Some of the best-read content we produce isn’t on the front page.” For example, per the Business Editor, the “weekly Newsmakers section”.
  • Video, “So if your business has ‘good visuals,’ drop in a link to some B-roll video that we can attach to the story.”
Below is the full list of business reporters with phone number and email address you can contact to get your business noticed and attract more customers. What will get a business reporter’s attention? Scroll back up and study the “Five Tips” again!
  • Jeff Ostrowski, 561-820-4581; jostrowski@pbpost.com
  • Susan Salisbury, 561-820-4577; ssalisbury@pbpost.com
  • Jennifer Sorentrue, 561-820-4526; jsorentrue@pbpost.com
  • Charles Elmore, 561-820-4811; celmore@pbpost.com
  • Alexandra Clough (real estate/business reporter), 561-362-5557; aclough@pbpost.com
So. After going over the “Five Tips” for a few days do you think you’ll be ready to reach out to a business reporter and get your business noticed, and maybe later, an article published about your business in the Post? Well, get cracking!

It’s a very competitive business environment and it doesn’t help matters much when Lake Worth’s beat reporter is promoting businesses in the Village of Palm Springs:

For example, if you’re in the business of selling
“Icy treats” you don’t want your customers
going to Palm Springs!
Remember this IN FOCUS: LAKE WORTH
by beat reporter Kevin Thompson about
‘Icy treats
at a gas station located where? Here in the
City of Lake Worth?


Sadly no.
That RaceTrac gas station
is i
n Palm Springs!

Why go all the way to Palm Springs for “Icy treats” when you can get icy treats right here in the City of Lake Worth such as wonderful establishments like Toojay’s at 419 Lake Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth!
In conclusion, if you have a business here in the City of Lake Worth you shouldn’t be losing local customers to businesses outside our City.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A look back: Mayor Pam Triolo’s State
of the City Address last year and,
“Did the mayor say that?”

Do you remember what the beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post wrote last year about Mayor Triolo’s prepared speech to the public about the “State of the City”?


“Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.”
Quote from the Society of Professional Journalists, Revised.

Did Mayor Pam Triolo say in her State of the City Address, “Lake Worth is nowhere it needs to be”? No. She did not.

Definition of the word “nowhere”: adverb: 1. in or at no place; not anywhere. 2. to no place. noun: 3. the state of nonexistence or seeming nonexistence. 4. anonymity or obscurity. 5. an unknown, remote, or nonexistent place or region. adjective: 6. being or leading nowhere; pointless; futile.


First a short background. On January 31st, 2017, Mayor Pam Triolo gave her State of the City Address to a “packed Casino Ballroom” as reported by The Lake Worth Herald on February 2nd. I was there to record the event and was also given a copy of the mayor’s prepared remarks.

The mayor’s speech was extraordinarily uplifting and positive. One of my personal observations was the speech was one of Triolo’s best ever. Her focus was the “new Lake Worth” vs. the “old Lake Worth”.

On Thursday, February 2nd, The Palm Beach Post article by reporter Kevin Thompson came out about the mayor’s State of the City Address. Then the phone calls started: “Did the mayor say that?”. After reviewing the text of the speech and watching the videos on YouTube, “The Challenge” began soon after.

Here is the line in the Post that confused some and angered others:

“Triolo said Lake Worth is nowhere it needs to be in turning the city around and still has a way to go.”


The reference in the Post that Lake Worth is “nowhere it needs to be” was taken completely out of context. From page 12 of the mayor’s prepared remarks is this excerpt (take special note of the highlighted text below):

     Another festival that is coming back to Lake Worth the Midnight Sun Festival. It is a re-establishment of what used to be the Finnfest and celebrates Finnish Culture and its relationship and impacts on Lake Worth. I have been working with staff and encouraging the Finnish community on this effort for the past several years and am proud to come through on a promise to bring this event HOME! The event will provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy Finnish music, food, dancing and fun. Midnight Sun Festival will be the beginning of renewed efforts on our part to bring our Finnish friends back to Lake Worth to invest, visit and continue as an important part of our community.
     I can’t talk about festivals in our City without talking about the one event that has consistently given Lake Worth a positive reputation as a place that values art. Of course I am speaking of the Street Painting Festival! After 10 years of being the world’s largest street painting event, we are excited to enter into a renewed relationship with the organizers. No other event draws as many people and gives them a chance to experience our cool, artsy, unique downtown and City. The over 400 artists who participate literally put us on the Arts World Map and we thank the organizers for continuing to value being in Lake Worth. It is truly an expression of confidence in our City.
     As we take on the sense that we are the New Lake Worth, I recognize that we are not where we want to be with so many things. There is still much work to be done and things that I and my fellow Commissioners want to see happen. We know that the City organization is working hard to find ways to keep up with the increasing demand of the activity we are seeing. We want to give them the training and the tools so they can provide good customer service. After all, they are responsible for current capital projects and new ones starting soon that total more than $116 million. Yes that’s right, $116 million in infrastructure investments – and that too is another huge reason we are the New Lake Worth.

Focus on the yellow highlighted text in the mayor’s speech above. Is the line, “Triolo said Lake Worth is nowhere it needs to be an accurate reporting of what the mayor said. No.

“not where” ≠ “nowhere”

Dated February 2nd was a City press release likely a direct response to the “nowhere it needs to be” line reported in the Post article:

On Tuesday, January 31st, Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo gave the annual State of the City address to a full house in the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom. The theme of the address was Lake Worth had “turned a corner” and in doing so “was no longer the old Lake Worth” and “that the State of [the] City is good”.

What the City of Lake Worth deserves is a correction, or at the minimum a “clarification” printed in The Palm Beach Post. But that will never happen. That’s the sad part of this whole story.

[UPDATE: As if you needed an update. No “Correction” or “Clarification” was ever issued from the editor at The Palm Beach Post.]

A funny thing happened on the way to the debate at the Lake Worth Playhouse last night. When I drove. . .

. . . past the theater there was
no one there at 5:30!


What! Was the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) debate cancelled? It was supposed to start at 6:00 and usually crowds and campaign workers and volunteer sign-wavers are out in front of the Playhouse at least an hour prior to debates at the Playhouse and all kinds of fun and very curious things are going on.

It’s usually quite entertaining — and appropriately so — given it’s a show in front of a popular iconic theater.

Actually, it’s sort of like a party most years.

So I parked the car and unloaded my tripod and camera and headed back to the Playhouse. . .

And then people started to show up.
But as far as I could tell, no press or news media.
A very light crowd for a debate at the Playhouse.

Meet the candidates.
Stay tuned for this month’s Treasurer Reports!
Check back to this blog later today or tomorrow for video and more details about last night’s debate. Hint: You won’t need to pop any popcorn.

Less than normal crowd for the annual show.
Can you spot a City commissioner?
A funny thing happened at the Lake Worth Playhouse last night. . . except for one candidate in particular, our City’s politics is actually beginning to feel like it’s quite normal. Imagine that.

Elections, politics, and more quirky and charming City of Lake Worth history.

Do you remember the last Anarchist who ran
for a seat on the City Commission? Let’s
take a stroll back. . . 

The blog post below is from early February 2016 (some links below updated). Candidate Ryan Hartman later went on to get clobbered by Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell in that District 1 race. The theory is when Hartman turned from radical Anarchist to preppy Hipster, “I’m Chuck Bass” he lost his base of support and it all went downhill from there. Without further ado, Enjoy!

Ryan Hartman and two young girls disabled a van at a protest in Palm Beach Gardens. What happened next was hilarious. Instead of drawing attention to a plot of land being proposed for development he made Everglades EarthFirst! (EEF!) a joke throughout south Florida and the country as well.

Here’s what Hartman and his little band of merrymakers did: Instead of reviewing the Anarchist library for ways to disable a vehicle they removed the battery and threw it into a lake! This is not a joke. It really happened. The Palm Beach Gardens PD even took a picture of the battery in the lake and a HazMat team was assembled to remove it. Luckily, no acid was released.

And remember the protest in West Palm Beach that a Lake Worth commissioner and 2 former commissioners were invited to attend?

But the story gets better. Hartman and the girls go on trial and they were all found guilty. The judge even felt sorry for them and didn’t sentence any of  them to jail time. So what does Hartman do next? He cleans himself up, turns into a Hipster, and decides to run for office and challenge Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. 

Hartman prior to his Hipster makeover.

Knowing full well the people of Lake Worth wouldn’t vote for him looking like an Anarchist, Hartman then changed his appearance to make himself more palatable:

Hartman has a whole new look and beams with delight. Note he shaved, got a haircut, and sports trendy new clothes. [The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) was
a big fan of Hartman and even contributed money
to his campaign.]

And in another later development, the dwindling Anarchist community in Lake Worth put the callout for Anarchists everywhere to descend on the City and help to get Hartman elected by staging a “musical”:

If you see a “musical” about to begin contact PBSO and enjoy the show!

Which makes you wonder why Hartman, an anti-government Anarchist, would run for a political office in the first place. Would there be a bigger objective like obstructing and hampering law enforcement in Lake Worth? Not so funny and entertaining any more is it?

A sign at an EEF! 2014 protest in Lake Worth outside PBSO District 14.

TODAY: Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address.

Mayor Triolo’s “State of the City” will be held at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom beginning at 6:00.

Please note: This event is open to the press and news media, but you don’t really need to show up if
you don’t want to.
For press, news media and inquiries from beat reporters: Contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s  PIO at 561-586-1631; email: BKerr@lakeworth.org

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

“Electric rates going down in Lake Worth”, news from reporter Ashley Hinson at NBC5/WPTV.


This news was reported Live outside Lake Worth City Hall last night. Click on this link to see the video and more information from the text of the news segment:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — Finally, after a five year effort, Lake Worth Electric Utility has achieved bill parity with Florida Power & Light, according to Mayor Pam Triolo.
     In a brief press conference at city hall Tuesday, Triolo said under this new agreement electric bills for residents in Lake Worth will be drastically lower.
     If you took a bill from an average resident customer and put it beside an FPL bill, we are now 18 cents less,” she said. Lake Worth has a history of high electric rates; FP&L rates have always been significantly cheaper.
     That often disincentives investors from purchasing property under the only electric company available to them in Lake Worth, said Triolo. “Your electric bill should not be considered a reason to consider leaving,” she said.

Now let’s take a short stroll down memory lane.
A little history is in order. . .

Lugging along a laundry list of promises back in March 2015 — including not to raise the electric rates — then-District 2 Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, won re-election and on McVoy’s coattails he swept along Mr. Ryan Maier with him through the doors of City Hall to represent District 4.

Click on image to enlarge:
Mr. Ryan Maier (left; beaming, white shirt) and McVoy, PhD (blue shirt, arms raised) celebrate election day victories on March 10th, 2015.

But then. . .

Just six months later, in September 2015,
all hell broke loose.
Below are two excerpts from The Lake Worth Herald datelined Sept. 17th, 2015.

The Lake Worth City Commission passed a tentative FY 2015-2016, $1,736,905 City budget by a 3-2 vote on first reading with Commissioners Christopher McVoy and Ryan Maier dissenting.
     McVoy and Maier were against the budget because it didn’t include increases in electric and beach parking rates.

and. . .

     McVoy suggested raising electric rates, which drew the ire of [Vice Mayor Scott] Maxwell. Maxwell reminded McVoy of the ordinance passed about three years ago requiring the City to bring electric rates into parity with Florida Power and Light rates. McVoy continued to insist upon raising the rates and wouldn’t vote for the budget unless an electric rate increase was included. Maier held fast in support of McVoy.
     City Manager Michael Bornstein took to the podium to moderate the negotiations, suggesting various compromises which brought the same results, McVoy and Maier voting against because they insisted on rate increases and Maxwell dissenting because he would not accept rate increases.

Do you remember back when electric rates were sky high? Remember when the public was mad as hell and demanded something be done?



Well. Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Scott Maxwell and Andy Amoroso listened and got those electric rates down. In the elections coming up on March 13th there was no opponent for Commissioner Amoroso in District 3 and by default he was re-elected.

Mayor Pam Triolo is on the ballot this March and so is District 1 Commissioner Maxwell.

Election Day is March 13th.


By the way, in March 2017 Chris McVoy, PhD, was defeated by Mr. Omari Hardy who is now Commissioner Hardy and represents District 2 in the City of Lake Worth. Ryan Maier opted not to run for re-election and Commissioner Herman C. Robinson now represents District 4.

Just a reminder. Trying to win an election by using volunteers as “political foot-
balls” is not a winning strategy.


Find out below why going after volunteers and volunteer boards “to possibly create doubt and suspicion about what’s going on here at City Hall” can backfire in a very big and public way. And when that happens you can pretty much give up all hope of getting elected in this City. Ever.

First off, the volunteers serving our City are the backbone of Lake Worth. For example, all those volunteers serving on our City boards. Without them our City would not be able to function.

But there’s a big difference between public discourse, e.g., disagreeing with what a volunteer or particular volunteer board did, and using them as ‘political footballs’. Let’s say a board makes a decision you disagree with, here’s a few questions:
  • Were you there at that board meeting?
  • Did you see all the evidence and backup material presented before the board?
  • Prior to many volunteer board meetings members receive a packet from the City to get prepared ahead of time. Did you ever request to see that information?
  • Volunteer board members are part of the community. Did you ever think of contacting them or even walking up and asking, “Why did you vote the way you did?”
Sadly, this kind of political attack, using volunteers as ‘political footballs’ is nothing new.

But!

If you do decide to go down that path there’s something you need to know. If you think volunteers will just sit back and not respond to being used as a ‘political football’, well, you are very mistaken.

The statement below was originally posted in March 2016 on this blog. This was in the lead-up to the municipal elections that month. Mr. Greg Rice, the Chair of Lake Worth’s Planning and Zoning Board demanded an apology, which he never received, for false statements made about volunteers who serve the City:

“I would like to make a public statement. Somebody running for city commissioner [the challenger to Commissioner Andy Amoroso] has made public comments at public meetings accusing members of this Planning and Zoning Board, and there are several of them in this room tonight, for being involved in secret meetings with the developer of the Gulfstream hotel and the Planning and Zoning Board. He’s making a slanderous statement. That has never happened [emphasis added]. I want everybody to realize that. I don’t know why, whatever that means, to possibly create doubt and suspicion about what’s going on here at City Hall. But these volunteers on this board that aren’t elected officials that are serving this City, making the sacrifices, this could have a significant, things like slanderous statements like that, could have a significant impact on their ability to be able to make a living. Especially those that are involved in professions that are construction-related or design-related. I would like an apology before the election that [‘secret meetings’] never happened.”

By the way, Mr. Rice gave his “public statement” on March 1st, 2015. Two weeks later, on March 15th, Commissioner Andy Amoroso went on to win re-election in a landslide victory.

To watch for yourself: The video below is Mr. Rice giving his annual Planning and Zoning Board update two years ago. At the 10:30 mark in the video he thanks the volunteers and the City staff for all their hard work and sacrifice. At the 11:00 mark he makes the statement above:



And lastly, if you happen to be upset or even angry about what a volunteer board did or didn’t do, did you ever think of becoming a volunteer yourself on a City of Lake Worth volunteer board? It’s actually very easy. Click on this link or send an email to the City’s Volunteer Coordinator, Olivia Brown: obrown@lakeworth.org

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Today at 6:00. City of Lake Worth’s
City Commission meeting begins.

PLEASE NOTE:
TODAY AT 5:00

There is a press conference
inside City Hall.


Click on this link for details and instructions for the press, news media, and beat reporters too. Press conference will begin promptly at 5:00.

Find out below how to download the agenda for tonight’s Commission meeting.

To watch this meeting Live Streaming use this link and scroll down for the “Live Broadcast Channel” at or after 6:00. That’s all there is to it.

On the topic of public meetings in this little City of Lake Worth, the City’s website has “Meeting Canceled” vis-à-vis the Planning & Zoning Board meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 7th). Also tomorrow is an Electric Utility Advisory Board meeting and that agenda is now available (click on this link and scroll down for “Agenda Package”.

Did you here about what happened at the City Commission meeting on January 16th?

It was about the City of Lake Worth’s Casino at the Beach, “Item Q” on the Consent Agenda about, “Professional Services Agreement with CPZ Architects, Inc.” To read about that and an “interesting timeline” from former Palm Beach Post reporter Scott McCabe use this link. The history of the Lake Worth Casino and Beach goes all the way back to 1912.

Relax!
Everything will be OK Weetha Peebull!
There will be many public meetings and plenty of time for public comment and input prior to any future project at our Beach. That is, if there
is any future project at all.

In the end the City Commission will have to take two votes to approve anything to actually happen and that is a long time away. Now back to next Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.


Helpful hint:
After you download the agenda use the ‘Bookmarks’ in the left column to quickly move between agenda items.
To look over the agenda click on this link and then scroll down for “February 6 Regular Meeting”.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The message again because it’s “Worth Noting” once again: Timely reminder for the press and TV news media. . .

City of Lake Worth holds what are called
“Nonpartisan elections”.

This is “Worth Noting”. 

Thank You for visiting the Lake Worth City Limits 
blog which began in June 2006:Notes, News and
Reviews unique to City and suburban areas.**
If you’re not exactly sure what ‘nonpartisan’ means, please contact the City of Lake Worth’s PIO,*
Mr. Ben Kerr at 561-586-1631 or send email to: BKerr@lakeworth.org

From City of Lake Worth’s
City Charter. . .


“Lake Worth, Florida — Code of Ordinances —
Part I, Subpart A, Article V (Qualifications and Elections), Section 1, “Nonpartisan elections”:

All qualifications and elections for the offices of mayor and city commissioner shall be conducted on a nonpartisan basis without regard for or designation of political party affiliation of any nominee on any nomination petition or ballot.

From the City’s website, “Mayor & Commissioners”:

According to the provisions set forth in the City Charter, Lake Worth operates a Commission–Manager form of government. Authority is vested in an elected City Commission, which, in turn, appoints the City Manager.
     The City Commission is comprised of five members who serve staggered two-year terms [sic] and are elected on a nonpartisan basis by residents of the City. The Mayor is elected by a city-wide vote to serve a two-year term [sic] as the presiding officer at City Commission Meetings and as the official head of the City of Lake Worth for legislative and ceremonial purposes. The City Commission is responsible for passing Ordinances and other policy directives necessary for the operation of the City.

Any questions? If so, contact
City of Lake Worth’s PIO.

Footnote section:

*PIO  =  Public Information Officer.
     PIOs are essential to get the message out to the public about things such as approaching hurricanes and post-storm updates (e.g., see video below), update and inform local beat reporters and those in the press and news media as well,§ and PIOs also perform other seemingly mundane but essential duties such as explaining the difference between the word “heroin” — a very dangerously addictive illegal drug — and the word “heroine”, which is a woman who is presently or was in the past “noted for courageous acts or nobility of character.”
On March 14th, 2017, a referendum passed in the City of Lake Worth (55%–45%) increasing terms for electeds from two to three years [‘sicmeans sic erat scriptum in Latin for, “thus was it written].
As of Dec. 2017 the City’s website has not been updated [use sic or should one use ibid. here?].
§If you’re interested in learning why the City of Lake Worth is “too complex” for many (but certainly not all) reporters and editors in the press and news media click on this link.
Interested in learning more about footnotes? And what is the difference between a footnote and an “endnote”? Click on this link for the answers in Wikipedia.
     And by the way — in succession — following the thin parallel lines (‖) is the footnote symbol “¶” and then one begins to ‘double-up’ if necessary, e.g., **, ††, ‡‡, etc.

**And lastly, once again, Thank You for visiting again today! This blog called Lake Worth City Limits about “Notes, News and Reviews unique to City and suburban areas.”

Meet Mr. Ben Kerr:

Note. This is a “work in progress”.
Please check back tomorrow
for more information.

The blog post below addresses the question, “After the elections next March, time for a big decision: Should the City of Lake Worth take over the CRA?”

First off, when the City of Lake Worth’s Community Redevelopment Agency is disbanded, which is likely in the not-too-distant future, this City of Lake Worth needs to pay honor and tribute to remind present as well as future residents of this City about all the hard work, effort and dedication by the ever-professional Staff and Director of the CRA, Joan Oliva.

For some background, know that it was Yours Truly, Wes Blackman, who as a volunteer board member of the CRA made the motion to go forward with Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP-2) back in 2009. For some perspective, that was many years prior to the current beat reporter sent to this City from The Palm Beach Post. I think the beat reporter back then was Willie Howard. And I think Andrew Marra was still on the Post editorial board too.

What’s interesting now is all the news about all the new business establishments opening up in this City of Lake Worth. Ironically, as bad as things were back in 2009, nine years later it’s The Palm Beach Post that is “up for sale” while so many businesses are choosing to invest in this City of Lake Worth.

One can see how the Lake Worth CRA can become a last minute target leading up to Election Day. This is nothing new. It’s sort of like a tradition now in this City. I’ve been a quite frequent critic of the CRA. And I’ve also been a very big fan of the CRA. I believe the CRA has made some big mistakes and think they’ve made a lot of very good decisions as well.

But all-in-all, at the end of the day, our City of Lake Worth is a much better place today because of all the hard work by Joan Oliva and the CRA and why this City needs to start planning for the biggest party and tribute ever if it does come to pass our Community Redevelopment Agency does get taken over by the Lake Worth City Commission.

The political battle over CRAs is shaping up to be a huge one this year. Below is just one of the many news items resurrected recently to remind everyone about what’s to come up soon in Tallahassee. From Kate Payne at WFSU News, “Lawmaker Repeats Call For CRA Transparency, Accountability”:

     Under [District 57 State Representative Jake] Rayburn’s bill, CRAs would have to conduct ethics training, open competitive bids, and file annual performance reports. Agencies would have to post project lists and funding plans, as well as changes in property values and vacancy rates.
     The bill would also phase out active CRAs by September 2038 or earlier. And the Legislature would approve any new CRAs, instead of local governments.
     The bill is largely similar to a House plan that emerged last session, but failed to get traction in the Senate.

Remember, the ultimate success of a CRA is to go out of business; no longer be necessary.

Are we reaching that point when the City needs to say “Thank You” to the Lake Worth CRA and take it over? Who can better allocate that tax revenue going forward, elected officials who deal with constituents every single day or the un-electeds at the CRA?

Consider this:

  • Beginning this March elected members to the City Commission will begin serving 3-year terms (Commissioner Andy Amoroso was unopposed and will automatically serve a 3 year term). The hope is this will create a more deliberative body without the pressure having to run for election every two years.
  • Our City Commission received a well-deserved pay raise. The reasoning by City Manager Michael Bornstein is this will attract a better pool of candidates and retain the most qualified people to run for seats on the Commission. We’ll know if that’s true on Election Day, March 13th.
  • April 16th, 2018 will mark Bornstein’s 6th year as the city manager. A positive sign of stability and good management.
  • Last month, January 2018, will mark 10 years running the CRA by Exec. Director Joan Oliva. Back in 2008 the City was “dysfunction junction” and Oliva was a big part of changing all that.
So. Back to the question, after the elections next March — and if the City Commission continues its positive trajectory — is it time for the City to take over and capture that tax revenue from the CRA?

A lot will depend on what the voters do next March.

However. . . it should be noted, taking into consideration the last 25–30 years of Lake Worth political history, these last 5 years have been a welcome but very unusual time of political stability, comparatively speaking.

Press conference on the steps of Lake Worth City Hall. Program will begin exactly at 5:00.

This is a public event and everyone is invited on Tuesday, Feb. 6th.

The City’s press release is below.

News about the Lake Worth Electric Utility.
Very worthy news, most definitely “Worth Noting”.
First, some instructions and helpful suggestions for press, news media, and WPBF (ABC25) too:

Please park your news vans and other vehicles on either North/South ‘G’ Street or North/South ‘H’ Street. Parking is FREE on those streets, it’s only a short walk to City Hall, and far enough away you won’t be a distraction or a nuisance and free up more parking for the public as well. Remember, this program will begin promptly at 5:00.

En route to City Hall please look around inside your news van or company Ford Pinto (e.g., glovebox, sun visor, between the seats) to make sure it does not have three or more parking citations. That could end up making for an embarrassing situation when all the other news organizations do a story about your company’s vehicle getting “the boot”. What exactly is ‘the boot’? Click on this link to learn more.

By the way — whilst on the topic of the news media and this little City of Lake Worth — the most popular TV news story the entire month of January was by WPBF. One would think it was that news segment about the “furious” school principal at an elementary charter school across Dixie Hwy. from a medical marijuana dispensary, right? But it wasn’t even close.

The most popular story was reported on Jan. 2nd titled, “Lake Worth cat enjoys walks on a leash”. To watch that crazy cat for yourself click on this link.

Anyhow, if you would like more information about the news conference next week. . .

Please contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the City of Lake Worth’s Public Information Officer (PIO) at 561-586-1631 or by email at BKerr@lakeworth.org

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Without further ado, the press release from the City of Lake Worth’s PIO:

“City to announce exciting
news about the Lake Worth
Electric Utility.”


LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA* — The City of Lake Worth is hosting a special press conference on Tuesday, February 6 at 5:00 p.m., to announce Lake Worth Electric Utility’s achievement of Bill Parity with FP&L.
     In 2013 the Lake Worth Commission tasked City staff with bringing the Lake Worth Electric Utility bills for residential customers to parity with the bills charged by Florida Power and Light for similar services. Mayor Pam Triolo will be making the official announcement of the City’s success in achieving this goal.
     The Mayor will be joined by members of the City Commission, the City Manager, the Director of Electric Utilities and others for this exciting press conference.

*We are LAKE WORTH. A hometown City that is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service through a commitment to integrity, hard work and a friendly attitude. We strive to exceed the expectations of our citizens, our businesses, our elected officials and our fellow employees.”

Brightline and Tri-Rail: The message always needs to be “STOP LOOK LISTEN” and “THINK TRAIN!”?
Can you think of a better message?


UPDATE: Today The Palm Beach Post editorial board makes a strong case for Brightline, this exciting “new roadway” into the future of passenger rail and travel in the United States. Here’s an excerpt:

“Leave an upgraded system in place for commercial transport, but give us a new roadway . . . on the highways of the future.”

Published today (Monday, February 5th, 2018) by the editor in a piece titled, “Interstate system not safe for drivers”.

True. The Palm Beach Post is “up for sale”. And everyone wishes them the best of luck. However, when it comes to public safety and saving lives, thankfully, there is no shortage of reporters and journalists here in South Florida and in Palm Beach County who will always strive to do their best and get the word out about trains and public safety (please see another quote below).

But if the Post does fail to find a buyer another newspaper, with both a print and online presence, will most certainly fill the void such at the Tampa Bay Times (the winner of 12 Pulitzer prizes) possibly opening a new satellite location here in Palm Beach County. And doesn’t The Palm Beach County Times have a nice ring to it! There are many possibilities. So don’t fret the loss of any one newspaper.

On the topic of Brightline and public safety. . .

“It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for anyone to ever consider trying to beat a train.”

Quote by Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams as reported by CBS12/WPEC reporter Mike Magnoli on Jan. 31st, 2018 (see link below).

However, if you are one of those still deeply troubled about three articles published in yesterday’s Palm Beach Post you are not alone. Following the paragraph below are two questions.

The one article published in today’s print edition is about a Brightline train in the ‘A’ front section (on page A13) that struck a woman who didn’t pay attention to the warning signals — the lights, horn, and crossing arms — and “■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ had no reason to even know what a Brightline train was until one killed her sister.” The other story on page A12 was about a Brightline train that, “zoomed [sic] through, and struck and killed ■■■■■■■”. Note the word “killed” was used as well on the front page, A1, in another story about Brightline too. Yes. Three stories in today’s Sunday paper about Brightline trains ‘killing’ people.

Two questions: How many such in-depth stories do you ever recall about someone losing their life on I-95 and the Florida Turnpike every year in the Post? On Dec. 12th last year in West Palm Beach a man visiting from Tennessee died tragically when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver and just two days ago another man was “fatally struck by car in West Palm Beach”. What do you think the chances are we’ll ever see a feature story any time soon about the man struck and killed last Friday and what happened to cause this all-too-common tragedy?

[And by the way, there were twenty-seven (27) homicides in West Palm Beach last year. Twenty-five (25) were shot and killed by firearms. Despite repeated calls for new technology such as ShotSpotter has there been any news published in the Post about this new tool? No. Nothing at all.]

So what do you think the message needs to be concerning public safety, the Florida East Coast (FEC) and the western CSX railroads?

From Brightline and Tri-Rail’s perspective the message always needs to be “STOP LOOK LISTEN” and “THINK TRAIN!”. Or do you think featuring people who made terrible decisions is the right message? And the hardest question of them all, how does this topic fit into the entire equation?

If you support Brightline passenger rail and Tri-Rail service strongly encourage you to write a “Letter to the Editor” at The Palm Beach Post today to have published on the editorial page in the next day or two.

[Note: Below are the instructions how to write a letter to the editor at the Post: word count, email address, and some tricks you can use to get your letter published like listing your credentials and “how to follow-up”, which is very important.]

And after reading this blog post scroll back up and click on this link for the recent news from CBS12 (WPTV) reporter Mike Magnoli and County Commissioner Steven Abrams about “Spreading the message” from Brightline, Tri-Rail, and passenger rail service and this terrible message recently from another elected official, the mayor of West Palm Beach:
“. . .and you know you might’ve been able to outrun a Tri-Rail train, [emphasis added] but you can’t outrun a Brightline train”.
And for more information about Brightline, public safety, and an “[U]nhelpful political campaign targeting the Brightline rail service” click on this link.

Message from WTVJ in March 1949 is no different
than today: “STOP   LOOK   LISTEN”
The goal has always been to avoid “deaths” on railroad tracks. In the battle Train vs. People and Train vs. Vehicle the train has never lost since the 1890s in Florida. Not one single time.

Now. More reasons why you need to write
a letter to the editor today:

There was another negative “Letter to the Editor” published in The Palm Beach Post this week about Brightline passenger rail service with another open-ended question and once again, “laced with not too subtle fear-mongering” about Brighline: “Asking the people to wait patiently while a projected 30 or 40 trains a day close our streets is wrong.” Where did the number 30–40 come from? Then another letter was published trying to make the case Brighline’s tracks should be elevated.

Besides waiting until after all that new track was laid to make the point about elevating the track the letter writer compared Brightline passenger rail service to the Long Island Rail Road. Elevating structures in the northeastern U.S. is a fairly routine task; doing so in Florida is an entirely different matter especially for the Brightline route from Miami to Orlando and then beyond to Tampa.

By the way, there’s a very good reason why Florida only has two tunnels. We’ll just leave it at that for now.

Also last week this story was posted in the online edition of the Post about Brightline and the very next day that same article made the print edition. Note that the headline in the online edition is:
Train deaths prompt Boynton to add more restrictive gates
Why not the headline, “To avoid train deaths Boynton added. . .”? Here are more recent headlines from the Post’s online edition, note the words highlighted in yellow:
  • After multiple train deaths, a call for action and education [why not, “After avoidable train deaths. . .”?]
  • To stem rail train deaths, West Palm paints sidewalk safety signs [‘stem’?]
  • Police say man pedaled around closed train gates before death [why not, “Police say man ignored closed train gates. . .”?]

The message from County and local government officials, Brightline and Tri-Rail is “THINK TRAIN” to AVOID “TRAIN DEATHS”.

The message from Brightline and Tri-Rail is this:
Do you think The Palm Beach Post is doing their part to get this message out to the public? Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. Tell the editor at the Post
what you think. Here’s how: 

Please write a letter to the editor at the Post today. It only takes 5–10 minutes. To learn how, including tips on how to “follow-up” and explain why your letter is important, click on this link.

Lastly, in the never-ending debate about
the role of trains in Florida. . .

The press and news media has always been in the center of the fray, which is both good and bad. On the one hand the media gets job security — they’ll never run out of news to report — both good news and bad news.

But on the other hand. . . train companies rely on
the press and media to get it’s most important
message out to the public as well:
The message needs to focus primarily on public safety to avoid any more “train deaths” and people “killed”. And remember what Commissioner Abrams said, “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for anyone to ever consider trying to beat a train.”